Is my puppy playing with or attacking my cat?

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Is my puppy playing with or attacking my cat?

This is a discussion on Is my puppy playing with or attacking my cat? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hi- new to this, hopefully someone has some advice for me. My husband and I have a 4 month old lab- FULL of energy, which ...

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Old 10-29-2013, 06:45 PM
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Is my puppy playing with or attacking my cat?

Hi- new to this, hopefully someone has some advice for me. My husband and I have a 4 month old lab- FULL of energy, which we try to burn off. Every day when I get home, I walk the dog, and play fetch for at least 45 minutes, and when my husband gets home HE plays seek & find games for another half hour. The puppy seems to be tired, but as soon as we get inside, he keeps pouncing on the cat. The cat is 7 years old- he was GREAT with our previous dog, who recently passed away. He is NOT happy with the puppy- he won't claw him (he could). The puppy will run full speed at the cat, pin him down, and start mouthing him or biting his head. If the cat can get away he will, but lots of times he can't. He never seems to hurt the cat, but I am worried he will as he gets bigger. We keep putting him in his kennel for a break every time he does it and telling him no, we have tried to distract him as soon as he starts stalking the cat, and praising him for coming to us, we make sure the cat has high places to get away too...nothing is helping. We love our puppy, and we love our cat, and we want to make sure neither hurts the other. HELP
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:29 PM
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Oooh, I'd like an answer to this. Applejack (our 10-week-old heeler) and Milo (my 4-year-old tabby/maine coon) do the same thing. AJ loves to pounce on her head, and Milo takes it with little more than some very loud protests. Occassionally she'll pin the puppy down or bite her ears, but that is about all she does.

And when we put AJ away for a break, Milo sits outside the door and waits for her to be let out (WTF cat?!).

I'm hoping it is teaching her a little bite inhibition, but I do worry about when Applejack gets bigger. Right now she's as tall as Milo, but not as long or as heavy. Its only a matter of time though.

Granted, Milo held her own against a malamute when she was younger, but still.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:45 PM
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Our cat does similar things like wait for the dog to be let out...the cat is big..Maine Coone..and has held his own against other dogs just fine. He sometimes will run past the dog and skid past him and lay down like he is just WAITING for the dog to pounce on him...or sometimes he will reach out and paw at the dog like "pounce on me!" so I really don't know how much is play, and when to put a stop to it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:57 PM
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Ah, our cats are probably similar in size. Milo is about 20 lbs. Sometimes I think she wants to play, and I will usually let her if her body language is happy. If she seems distressed I try and step in.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:33 PM
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I think you should teach him a 'gentle' and 'enough' command. Other than that what you're doing at the moment sounds good. I wouldn't personally let me dogs do that to my cats but I think it does depend on the cat and dog in question. I own three dogs and two cats. The oldest cat hates all dogs but they stay away from her and she stays away from them (although Casper is very curious-- our puppy). Pepsi our younger cat who has always been around dogs will take a lot from the dogs but when she's had enough its enough. They cuddle, wash each other, follow each other and all in all get along great. The two littles ones play with her but I would never let my big dog (Casper) play with her like that simply because when he is bigger he could snap her neck by accident or trample her. It is too uncommon for a cat to be killed on purpose or by accident by doggy play that was a little too rough or riled up a hunting instinct unseen before.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:57 PM
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My pup and cat do the same thing. It drives me nuts because I am afraid of kitty getting hurt, but he has all his claws and knows how to fight/play (we have three other cats). We've had our pup for a year now and nobody is hurt and I think kitty likes it!! We work on "be nice" and discouraging the neck/head mouthing,seems to be getting better but still happens.
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